All 176 passengers & crew on a Ukrainian passenger plane were killed minutes after taking off from Tehran. At first it was reported that the plane crashed. Now they have evidence it was downed by two Iranian surface-to-air missiles just hours after Iran launched the missile attack on two US bases in Iraq. No one will be held criminally accountable for their deaths. But if there are any civil suits as a result, those prosecuted should include the US Pentagon, Trump as commander-in-chief, & the Iranian military. The reckless & criminal assassination of Iran’s terrorist-in-chief Suleimani set this chain of events off but Iran was playing with lives when it retaliated against Iraq. We still don’t know if any Iraqi civilians were injured or killed in the missile attack on the bases.

Received this notice today from FB censors about a post of mine from August 11th, 2019–six days after the lockdown of Kashmir. The piece which violates Indian law is an article in the Indian journal Countercurrents by Amir Malik titled “Kashmir: struggle towards gender justice means end to foreign rule” which you can find on the internet, including on Will the Indian government be informing the several search engines that the article violates their national laws? And will they identify which laws the article violates because the information in the article has been reported in dozens of other articles, publications, & social media posts over the past five months of the lockdown. Fascist control of media & free speech is no laughing matter but the Keystone Kops beg comparison.

Are legions of Assadists & Stalinists really still vituperating against charges that Syria engaged in chemical warfare? That so resonates with the 17th century debate about ‘how many angels can dance on the head of a pin’, a reductio ad absurdum mockery of medieval Catholic scholasticism. Whether Syria & Russia used sarin gas or whether US-NATO used white phosphorous is not as important as challenging the right of all those countries to use any kind of weapons or bombs, including barrel & high-tech electronic weapons, against Syrian civilians.

The photo is a child displaced by Syrian & Russian bombing of Idlib in an IDP camp in December 2019.

(Photo tweeted by Amani Ballour, a Syrian pediatrician forcibly displaced from Syria)

China, Russia, Philippines, Laos, Vietnam, Belarus, Cambodia, & Zimbabwe voted with Burma against a UN General Assembly resolution supporting the Rohingya against genocide. Whilst 134 voted in favor of the resolution (without committing their countries to action to assist the Rohingya), 28 countries abstained, including Cameroon, Burundi, Eritrea, Kenya, Namibia, Lesotho, & Zambia.

“As chants of Azaadi grow louder in protests across India, the more sanitised they become of references to Kashmir’s struggle for freedom. For some, these are merely strategic separations. And though they feel strongly about it, they restrain themselves. We restrain ourselves.

There are real repercussions for linking the anti-CAA-NPR-NRC protests with Kashmir’s demand for self-determination. Might make already precarious lives of Muslims in the country even more so. They did lodge an FIR against the woman holding the ‘Free Kashmir’ poster.

Imagine how much worse it would have been had she been holding that poster in AMU. But this silence is deafening too. Its sad really that one has to maintain this strategic silence about an occupied people and their most basic demand to be free.

It’s so simple really. ‘Free Kashmir’ means end the occupation. No intellectual reach-around necessary. And yet we fail Kashmiris and are unable to be good allies despite our best intentions.”

–tweeted by Sinjini @sinjini_m

Foreign envoys from 17 nations began a two-day guided tour of Kashmir. Beside the US ambassador to India, there were diplomats from Vietnam, South Korea, Brazil, Uzbekistan, Niger, Nigeria, Morocco, Guyana, Argentina, Philippines, Norway, Maldives, Fiji, Togo, Bangladesh, & Peru. No one has yet identified the purpose of the tour except to legitimize the occupation.

(Photo of diplomats stopping for lunch on their ‘investigative tour’ of Kashmir is from Daily Excelsior)